Diets and Obesity Drug Treatment*

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Weight control and dieting is a subject of great interest to the American public. The use of pharmacologically active agents to help take weight off and keep it off has ranged from following the golden rules of moderation, not eating to excess, and following a regular plan of exercise. Many people are unable or unwilling to maintain these well-known practices and have sought out chemical means of assisting them is losing weight and keeping it off. The sympathomimetics have a powerfully effective appetite suppression, but also have a long list of serious and habituating adverse effects. Many diets have employed specific schedules and types of food to eat or avoid, but there is no diet employing drugs that is completely safe and effective. One new diet, Fen-Phen represents a new approach. Instead of using a single agent, a combination of two agents is used which affects the brain'S neurotransmitters. The results have been impressive so far, but the adverse effects of these two agents and their use and possible interaction with other drugs remains a risk.

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